The digital version of the Mittal Institute’s 2018-2019 Student Grant Report has just been released! The report highlights the recipients of the Mittal Institute’s Winter 2018 and Summer 2019 student grants, who traveled all over South Asia to learn about everything from conservation in post-colonial India to the transformation of South Asian foodways.
Category : Announcements
Professor Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Harvard Kennedy School, recently traveled to Bangalore to give a talk on her latest book that delves into these issues. The book, Can Science Make Sense of Life?, looks at flashpoints in law, politics, ethics, and culture to argue that science’s promises of perfectibility have gone too far. Science may have editorial control over the material elements of life, but it does not supersede the languages of sense-making that have helped define human values across millennia: the meanings of autonomy, integrity, and privacy; the bonds of kinship, family, and society; and the place of humans in nature.
From its cultural zenith in the days of Akbar, Lahore has remained a major center of knowledge and creativity in South Asia. As a free-spirited city that was home to the Mayo School — among other great institutions of knowledge — Lahore fed the imaginations of artists, poets, and writers, from B.C. Sanyal, Amrita Shergil, and Chughtai, to Faiz, Manto, and Khushwant Singh. But in the decades following Ayub’s martial law, as the space for arts and humanities diminished in Pakistan’s public discourse, so too did Lahore’s claim of being a vibrant cultural capital.
This January, the Mittal Institute launched a new podcast titled “India In-Focus” in collaboration with The Times of India. The podcast promises to bring one-on-one discussions between faculty and experts from Harvard around the transformative research and pivotal breakthroughs that have the potential to transform how India conducts business, creates new ideas, and tackles pressing social, technological, and environmental challenges.
Each year, the Mittal Institute sponsors several visiting scientists to pursue research in fields related to the biosciences at Harvard University and other institutions in the Boston area. Working in university laboratories under the mentorship of top bioscience mentors and faculty, the visiting scientists have the opportunity to learn through hands-on experiences and bring back new techniques and knowledge to their home institutions.
Recently, Professor Venkatesh Murthy gave a talk entitled “Algorithms and Neural Circuits in Olfaction,” at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences in Bangalore, exploring how animals sense the chemical world to guide their behaviors. “Fluctuating mixtures of odorants, often transported in fluid environments, are detected by an array of chemical sensors and parsed by neural circuits to recognize odor objects that can inform behavioral decisions.
TraumaLink was founded in 2013 as a volunteer-based emergency response system providing free care to traffic injury victims in Bangladesh. Recently, in November 2019, the organization celebrated its five year anniversary. The project grew out of a winter session trip that brought together three Harvard T.H. Chan students: Jon Moussally, Eric Dunipace, and Ryan Fu. During their time in Dhaka, they met Mridul Chowdhury, CEO of mPower Social Enterprises, Ltd., who holds an MPA in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
The beginning of 2020 marked a massive celebration of science with the India Science Fest (ISF) in Pune, India, which aimed to bridge the gap between scientists and society and help the youth engage with the latest in science and technology from across the world. The festival, organized by Aspiring Minds and the Mittal Institute, brought the international science community to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER). Social Alpha, the Tata Institute of Genetics and Society, and Google AI Research were key supporters of the festival.
The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute is seeking a Communications Intern for the Spring 2020 semester! The Institute engages in interdisciplinary research to deepen the understanding of critical issues in South Asia, and the Communications team promotes its events, programs and research through various forms of multimedia content. We’re looking for an intern who can assist with the creation of posters for the various events hosted by the Institute.
The digital version of the Mittal Institute’s 2016–2020 Arts Program Report has just been released! The report highlights the Mittal Institute’s Visiting Artist Fellows from 2016–2020, as well as the new developments in the Program on Conservation of Culture. Check out the digital version here to learn more. Below, read Professor Jinah Kim’s introduction to the report and the Arts Program at the Mittal Institute.
This January, Neha Hiranandani will join us in Mumbai to discuss her recently published book, Girl Power: Indian Women Who Broke the Rules, with Professor Jacqueline Bhabha of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Centering on the challenges young women still face when it comes to access to education and health while negotiating with the societal expectations, Hiranandani and Bhabha will discuss the stories of “rebel women” in India — pondering the factors that contribute to the success of those who break the mold, against the odds.
Recently, Professor Tarun Khanna — Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the Mittal Institute — traveled to Bengaluru to give the D.D. Kosambi Lecture, “A Paean to Learning to ‘See’” at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences. The talk was structured around the use of basic analytics to better “see” some overlooked regularities in human behavior — drawing on examples from recent Indian history, including the Partition of British India in 1947 and the annual Maha Kumbh Mela religious gathering, and from contemporary social phenomena.